Recommendations for the Field
The study suggests a variety of key recommendations for the family office and family philanthropy fields, including:
- There should be a greater investment in professional development for family office staff on philanthropy issues. Family office staff are often involved in a significant way in supporting the family’s philanthropy, and providing them with more tools and training in this area can help to make philanthropy more effective both for the family, and for the foundation’s grantees.
- Families should set clear expectations and boundaries for both family office and family foundation staff. There must be alignment among family members about the respective roles of these entities for the organization to function smoothly and effectively.
- There needs to be a common language of understanding between family foundation and family office staffs. Families should be sure to recruit, train, and pro- mote individuals who are able to learn and speak this language.
- Families and family offices need to invest more in educating and training the next generation for leadership. “Next gen” education is high on most family’s list of goals for the family office, but few families are able to carve out the amount of time needed to do this well.
- Organizations that support family offices and philanthropy have a role in developing best practices for strong governance and effective communications across entities. While there are well-established networks for family offices and family philanthropy, to date little research or training has been done to support families engaged in both types of entities.
- Families that manage their philanthropic foundations through a family office should pay special attention to the self-dealing laws and regulations, as well as to new SEC regulations governing this arrangement.
- There are significant opportunities for family offices to support mission-related investing and capacity building approaches through the foundation, leveraging the expertise of their financial staff and expanding the impact of the philanthropic arm. Mission-based investing is of increasing interest to newer family offices and philanthropic families.
List of Advisory Group Members
The National Center is grateful to the following individuals for helping to guide the development of this report.
- Patricia Angus, Founder and CEO, Angus Advisory Group
- Ruth Easterling, Managing Director, Member Services, Family Office Exchange
- Virginia Esposito, President, National Center for Family Philanthropy
- Bruce Maza, Executive Director, CE & S Foundation
- Craig Muska, Director of Investments, Foundation Services, Threshold Group
- Caren Yanis, President and Executive Director, Crown Family Philanthropies
- Danielle York, Director, 21/64
Thanks to Our Partners
The National Center is also grateful for the financial support of Threshold Group, Inc.
in the creation of this report, and to the Family Office Exchange for support of the survey distribution and authorship of selected sections of the report.